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Once Measured, Twice Cut

“They are so handsome, these soldiers, it’s hard to keep away from them.” “Well, see that you take precautions next time,” George Morris washed his hands as his patient buttoned up their shirt. “You don’t need a lecture on sexual health. At your age, no less!”       “Perhaps I might need a remedial course. The […]


Old Seeds

When the ship restarts my newly thawed brain, the first thing I do is panic. I open my eyes and see the star-spattered void, and I pinwheel and tumble, trying to swim in microgravity like an idiot. I drift out of the open lid of the stasis bed, dizzy and nauseated. I finally manage to […]


Patterns in Stone and Stars

Szkazy forced her attention back to the candle, the flame weak and flickering in the breeze from the ship’s air duct. Somewhere in the computer bowels, the clock was ticking away her allotted minutes for kindling an open flame. She’d had the dispensation renewed last month—and yet it still felt as if the ship itself […]


Hunger’s Truth

1. “Hey sexy! Give us a smile!” Danyor had a handful of seconds to decide: a close-mouthed smile, and feel dirty all day; flash pearly white, hope against citizen arrest, and feel dirty all day; ignore, and feel dirty all day. She tongued her broken eye tooth, pressed her lips together, set eyes forward, and […]

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Serving Girl

It had taken me six years to grow my hair to my waist, where decent women kept it, but only five minutes for Lia to cut it, and now it lay scattered around her brother Mazi’s house like straw on a stable floor. “Let me get a look at you, Ari.” Lia walked around me […]

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Three Partitions

Chani sat on the women’s balcony, racing through her prayers at the usual breakneck speed of the Orthodox. She was bored. She knew there was a Chasidic position that prayer should be as fast as possible, to prevent the yetzer hara, the evil inclination from getting a few thoughts in edgewise between the words. But […]

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One, Two, Three

We fucked up. We all know it, despite the fact that the others don’t want to admit it. The whole night was a series of fuck-ups, starting with Kerby and his stupid bottle of Latvian tequila – it didn’t occur to him to wonder why the stuff was in the discount bin, did it? (Dumber […]

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The Taking of Book 257

The priest finished his elegy with the usual pronouncements, then added a turn of phrase Elo hadn’t ever heard a priest use. “Gods and the Destroyer be merciful,” the old man had said. Just like any man of the troop might have, with Destroyer and Gods in the same sentence. Elo looked around the bowed […]

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